Robin Anish | The Table is Set: Sunny side-up done eggs-actly right

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It might sound silly, but when I feel the need to be grounded and more "present" as they say, cooking some eggs with a side of toast for dinner becomes a source of comfort. Seriously, it's sort of akin to the "stop and smell the roses" train of thought so to speak.

Let me explain. When you stop and think about it, the egg may seem menial. Yes, it's a simple, frugal food, but it is also nourishing and tasty, and essential in preparing some of the finest dishes and most exquisite pastries in the culinary world.

To cook an egg requires very little skill, but to cook an egg that's delicious and a pleasure to eat takes technique, which, in turn, takes a bit of focus and a bit of time, and, thus, the transcending into a state of feeling grounded and "present."

Eggs can be poached, boiled, baked or fried with each method requiring a different technique, the most challenging of which is cooking the perfect sunny side-up egg. To prove my point, let me tell you about Shirley.

Shirley was a women so very dear to my heart. She was in her 90s when she passed away a couple of years ago and I was one of her caregivers. Shirley was opinionated and stubborn; nurturing and funny, and the pickiest eater I've ever known. The first time I was to cook breakfast for her, she let it be known she was irritated that none of her caregivers knew how to cook an egg. She wanted two sunny side-up eggs with no crispy edges and no broken yokes! Well, I put Shirley in her place and made her very happy when I presented her with two perfectly cooked sunny side-up eggs with no crispy edges and yokes intact. From that point on, Shirley greeted her eggs with a cheery "hello" because the yokes looked like two big eyes staring up at her. I really miss cooking eggs for Shirley.

Here's how I cooked the perfect sunny side-up eggs for Shirley:

Eggs must be room temperature. Easily done by putting them in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes to get the chill off. Heat a non-stick pan (I love Circulon) over medium heat, then add a pat of butter, let it melt and wait until the bubbling stops. This cooks the water out and prevents sticking. Carefully break the eggs into the pan and cover. I used Shirley's plate as a lid so it would be nice and warm to serve the eggs on. Cook the eggs until the whites are just set. The yokes will be soft and runny at this point. For firmer yokes, pull the pan from the heat and leave covered a bit longer, letting the residual heat continue to gently cook the eggs to your liking.

So when you are stressed and needing to relax, stop and take the time to cook an egg!


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